The 5th Mumbai Mayor's Cup
By Manisha Mohite
The 5th edition of the Mumbai Mayor’s Cup – International Chess tournament had a venue change this year and moved from the Goregaon Sports Club to the Chetana College of Management auditorium in Bandra. The event attracted 335 players from about 11 countries including 16 GMs, 17 IMs, 3 WIMs and one WIM. It was an eleven-round Swiss Open. The climate in Mumbai around this time is very hot and this was reflected in the dress code which was strictly casual: with shorts, bermudas and flip flops in vogue. The tournament was conducted by the Venus Chess Academy and co-sponsored by LIC of India.
Mumbai, which virtually is seven islands strung together, is also a truly cosmopolitan city where people from various regions and religions coexist. It is also one of the world's top 10 centres of commerce in terms of global financial flow, generating 5% of India's GDP and accounting for 25% of industrial output, 70% of maritime trade in India, 70% of capital transactions to India's economy.
The inauguration where chief guest Shirish Chaudhari (MLA) makes the opening move
against WGM Padmini Rout of India. Also watching is AICF treasurer Ravindra Dongre,
the man behind this tournament.
Aleksej Alexandrov of Belarus the top seed in action against second seed Andrei Deviatkin of Russia
Kirill Stupak of Belarus Vs john Paul Gomez of Philippines. Gomez is a mechanical
engineer but for the last three years kept his degree on the back burner to pursue chess.
GM Adhiban, the highest rated Indian in the fray, finished 7th after losing to the champion and the runner-up.
IM Anita Gara of Hungary
WGM Anita playing on one of the top tables
IM Sahaj Grover, one of India’s talented teenagers, won a bronze
medal in the World Junior Championship last year. This youngster
suffered from a terrible allergic reaction to antibiotics in this
tournament and his performance also suffered as a result.
Local lad Rakesh Kulkarni, the GM scalper of rounds five and six
IM Praveen Kumar (2342) vs Aleksej Aleksandrov (2606). Kumar almost defeated
Aleksandrov, however the Belarussian escaped with a draw.
Another young participant gunning for glory
Nikolai Chadaev of Russia. “The answer is out there, I just know it...”
Vietnam-born GM Hoang Thanh Trang, a former World junior Girls
Champion and a strong presence in European circuit, is a hotel
manager in a family-owned business in Budapest.
Double support! GM Ziaur Rahman with his wife and son: both came to cheer their hero
IM Sharad Tilak and GM Abhijit Kunte have both represented India in the Chess Olympiad
Alexandrov’s smile says it all as he lifts the victor trophy. He does not speak English.
One of the many street shops in Mumbai
The Flora fountain – one of the landmarks of Mumbai – a British legacy
Mangoes – The King of Fruits in India. It is available in April, May and June, during
which all delicacies are mango-oriented. There are more than 500 named varieties of
mangoes in India. The Alphonso Mango of Maharashtra is however the most delicious!
The Mumbai Muncipal Corporation, the office of the sponsor, for whom the tournament
is named: The Mumbai Mayor.
Pictures by Manisha Mohite